AR Tech was all over MWC 2023 – but are we ready for it?

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Last week the doors opened for Mobile World Congress 2023. The show brings together tech companies from around the world to unveil their latest and greatest creations – you can check out our round-up of the best parts of MWC!

This year AR technology ran like the pattern in a piece of Brighton Rock throughout the show. We saw the Xiaomi Wireless AR Glass Discovery Edition in action. Elsewhere, Oppo had exhibited glasses.

It seems others are ready to join the fight. Apple’s Reality Pro headset has been rumored for months, while Meta is also said to be preparing a device.

Like it or not, it seems like AR will be the future of consumer technology. But many still wonder how useful it is in everyday life. Currently, most AR and VR headset applications revolve around gaming, but that certainly won’t be enough to convince casual gamers or those completely uninterested in gaming to take the plunge.

However, that may not be all it is used for. At the launch of the Xiaomi event, footage was shown of a user setting up a virtual screen to watch TV. The screen size could be adjusted to fit the room with just a simple flick of the wrist. This could be great for users who travel a lot – no more straining to watch shows on a phone screen!

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But beyond that, it could have professional applications. I’m not talking about the kind of virtual office environment we’ve seen in VR, but more as a way to work away from your desk. Being able to virtually place a monitor in front of you at a train station or in an airport waiting room without having to fiddle with laptops or tablets could make for a much better experience.

Newer AR versions also take a much more traditional fashion forward approach to design. It wouldn’t look massively out of place like, say, a Meta Quest 2 might.

Of course, we were still a long way from that being the new way of working – many of the devices mentioned don’t even have a commercial release date yet. But the concept is there and I honestly think there is a place for it. It might not be as glamorous or stimulating as the gaming side, but it’s arguably a lot more useful to a much wider audience.

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